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Drew Brees – Purdue
Drew Brees had a productive career at Purdue University before eventually becoming the Super Bowl MVP. Because Drew Brees is only listed at six feet tall and sidelined with a high school knee injury, his choice for a college scholarship before Purdue wisely gave him a chance to showcase his skills in the Big Ten Central Football Conference. was limited. Unfortunately for a number of NFL franchises that have passed on Drew Brees, the transition from high school to college won’t be the last time Brees is overlooked in terms of his abilities to (1) overcome a lack of size and (2) bounce back from high school. became career-threatening injury.
Drew Brees has had success on the football field at every level at which he has competed. Raised in Austin, Texas, the Lone Star State native compiled an impressive prep resume at the prestigious Westlake High School in the state capital of Austin. During his two seasons as the starting quarterback, Drew Brees went undefeated with 28 wins and no losses. Brice led the Westlake Chaparrals to a state championship (played at Texas Stadium) his junior year and looked set to win a straight state championship before tearing his ACL (Anterior Cruciate – knee) in the third round of the state playoffs. . .
Despite his perfect record in high school, there were doubts about his size (just under six feet and weighing less than 200 pounds) and his ability to come back from a serious knee injury greatly reduced the college offers that Drew Brees received. As an academically inclined young man, the school decision came down to becoming a signal caller at Ivy League school Brown or to West Lafayette, Indiana to join the Purdue Boilermakers. Recruits from traditional top football programs weren’t reaching out to Drew … but they should have been. Brees ultimately chose the more difficult football path between Purdue and Brown, deciding to enroll at Purdue to lead the Boilermakers to success in the Big Ten Conference, something rarely done in West Lafayette.
At Purdue, Drew Brees exceeded even his most optimistic supporters’ expectations by putting together a model college football career that should be the envy of any student-athlete. The future NFL bowler amassed an impressive number of awards records while wearing a Boilermaker uniform. When he left the school, Drew left the NCAA with multiple Big Ten records for such high-profile categories as touchdown passes, passing yards and completions (among others). In recognition of his personal and team success (making it to the Rose Bowl), Brees has been honored with a number of prestigious awards, including the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Maxwell Award – all of which recognize outstanding performance. .
Drew Brees’ positive experience at Purdue wasn’t limited to the playing field. In the classroom, Drew held himself to the same high standards and level of accountability that he was always known for as a football player. In addition to earning a degree in industrial management, his combined success in science and athletics earned Brice the prestigious honor of being selected as the Academic All-American Player of the Year.
After leaving Purdue University, Drew Brees found himself in a familiar situation where NFL teams don’t want to invest in a guy who doesn’t fit where he should be on their height and weight chart. Despite some early bouncing around, Brees eventually found his groove with the San Diego Chargers before a shoulder injury sidelined the quarterback. A nagging shoulder problem has significantly reduced the perceived value of Drew Brees’ future, but another underdog has proven his critics by enjoying an incredibly successful run with the New Orleans Saints that ended with a Super Bowl victory in February 2010.
The success Drew Brees was able to transfer from Purdue University to the NFL, although very small, should be both an inspiration for young players and a wake-up call for recruiters and scouts that statistical analysis does not accurately measure talent and heart.
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